Twenty two new working peers will join the House of Lords. Photo: AFP
Show Hide image

Dame Gail Rebuck, widow of Philip Gould, announced as new Labour peer

Twenty two new peers announced.

Dame Gail Rebuck, the widow of Labour peer Philip Gould, has been selected by Labour to become a working peer.

The chair of Penguin Random House UK, Dame Gail was voted the 10th most powerful woman in the UK by Radio 4's Woman's House last year. Made a dame in 2009, she will now join the Lords, to which her late husband was elevated in 2004.

Gould, who died in 2011, was an aide to Tony Blair and one of the principle architects of the New Labour political project.

Michael Cashman, a former Eastenders actor, has also been nominated by Labour for a peerage.

The announcement today of the latest round of working peers sees 22 titles bestowed by the Queen.

Twelve peers have been appointed by the Tories, six by the Lib Dems, three by Labour and one by the Democratic Unionist Party.

Accusations of cronyism have already been thrown at the Conservatives, as details of the plan to ennoble key donor Michael Farmer, a City financier, were leaked last week. Former M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose and football executive Karren Brady have also been nominated.

Before today, David Cameron had already named 161 new peers since 2010. The new appointments have come amid a row that the House of Lords is becoming over crowded and too expensive.

New figures revealed earlier this week showed that expenses claimed by members of the Lords have risen by more than £4 million since the government came to power. Peers’ allowances have increased from £17.2m before the 2010 election to £21.6m.

Former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd complained this week that the Lords was becoming overcrowded and urged older peers to bow out.

New rules passed this year allow peers to retire permanently from the House for the first time.

Boothroyd said: “It is so overcrowded that there is enough space for only about two thirds of us in the chamber itself.”

Speaking on Radio 4’s World at One on Monday, she added: “It is appalling. All prime ministers are very keen to put a lot of new members in here so that they can get their legislation through.”

 

The full list of new working peers is below.

 

Conservative Party

Karren Brady CBE – Vice-Chairman of West Ham FC; Senior Non-Executive Director of the Syco and Arcadia Brands; Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party; and member of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Women in Sport Advisory Board.

Martin Callanan – former Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England; former Leader of the Conservative MEPs and of the European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Carlyn Chisholm – Senior volunteer in the Conservative Party; Co-Chairman of the Conservative Candidate’s Committee; former nurse.

Andrew Cooper – Former Director of Political Operations to the Conservative Party; founder and Board Director of Populus.

Natalie Evans – Director of New Schools Network, an independent educational charity established to provide free advice and support for groups wanting to set up free schools.

Michael Farmer – Founding Partner of RK Mine Finance Group; Trustee of the Kingham Hill Trust; Treasurer of the Conservative Party.

Dido Harding – Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC.

Arminka Helic – Government Special Adviser; leading adviser to Government on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Nosheena Mobarik CBE – Businesswomen; former Chairman of CBI Scotland; founder and Convener of the Scotland Pakistan Network; Chairman of the Pakistan Britain Trade and Investment Forum.

Sir Stuart Rose – Former Chief Executive and Chairman of Marks and Spencer PLC.

Joanna Shields OBE – leading technology industry executive and entrepreneur; the Prime Minister’s Digital Adviser; Chair of Tech City UK; and Non-Executive Director of the London Stock Exchange.

Ranbir Suri – businessman; former General Secretary of the Board of British Sikhs.

 

Labour Party

Michael Cashman CBE – Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands constituency; equality rights campaigner; former actor.

Chris Lennie – political strategist; former Deputy Secretary General of the Labour Party.

Dame Gail Rebuck – businesswoman, publisher, chairman of Penguin Random House UK

 

Liberal Democrat Party

Chris Fox - Director of Group Communications for GKN; former Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr David Goddard – elected Member of Stockport Metropolitan Council; former Leader of Stockport Council; former Member of the Greater Manchester Police Authority; former Non-Executive Director of Manchester International Airport.

Cllr Barbara Janke – elected Member and former Leader of Bristol City Council; former teacher.

Cllr Kath Pinnock – elected Member and former Leader of Kirklees Council.

Paul Scriven – managing partner for Scriven Consulting; former elected Member and Leader of Sheffield City Council; former senior NHS manager.

Cllr Dr Julie Smith – elected Member of Newnham City Council; Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at Cambridge University; Fellow of Robinson College.

 
Democratic Unionist Party

William Hay MLA – Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, who has elected to sit on the crossbenches.

Lucy Fisher writes about politics and is the winner of the Anthony Howard Award 2013. She tweets @LOS_Fisher.

 

Getty.
Show Hide image

Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan are both slippery self-mythologisers – so why do we rate one more than the other?

Their obsessions with their childhoods have both become punchlines; but one of these jokes, it feels to me, is told with a lot more affection than the other.

Andy Burnham is a man whose policies and opinions seem to owe more to political expediency than they do to belief. He bangs on to the point of tedium about his own class, background and interests. As a result he’s widely seen as an unprincipled flip-flopper.

Sadiq Khan is a man whose policies and opinions seem to owe more to political expediency than they do to belief. He bangs on to the point of tedium about his own class, background and interests. As a result he’s the hugely popular mayor of London, the voice of those who’d be proud to think of themselves as the metropolitan liberal elite, and is even talked of as a possible future leader of the Labour party.

Oh, and also they were both born in 1970. So that’s a thing they have in common, too.

Why it is this approach to politics should have worked so much better for the mayor of London than the would-be mayor of Manchester is something I’ve been trying to work out for a while. There are definite parallels between Burnham’s attempts to present himself as a normal northern bloke who likes normal things like football, and Sadiq’s endless reminders that he’s a sarf London geezer whose dad drove a bus. They’ve both become punchlines; but one of these jokes, it feels to me, is told with a lot more affection than the other.

And yes, Burnham apparent tendency to switch sides, on everything from NHS privatisation to the 2015 welfare vote to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, has given him a reputation for slipperiness. But Sadiq’s core campaign pledge was to freeze London transport fares; everyone said it was nonsense, and true to form it was, and you’d be hard pressed to find an observer who thought this an atypical lapse on the mayor’s part. (Khan, too, has switched sides on the matter of Jeremy Corbyn.)

 And yet, he seems to get away with this, in a way that Burnham doesn’t. His low-level duplicity is factored in, and it’s hard to judge him for it because, well, it’s just what he’s like, isn’t it? For a long time, the Tory leadership’s line on London’s last mayor was “Boris is Boris”, meaning, look, we don’t trust him either, but what you gonna do? Well: Sadiq is Sadiq.

Even the names we refer to them by suggest that one of these two guys is viewed very differently from the other. I’ve instinctively slipped into referring to the mayor of London by his first name: he’s always Sadiq, not Khan, just as his predecessors were Boris and Ken. But, despite Eoin Clarke’s brief attempt to promote his 2015 leadership campaign with a twitter feed called “Labour Andy”, Burnham is still Burnham: formal, not familiar. 

I’ve a few theories to explain all this, though I’ve no idea which is correct. For a while I’ve assumed it’s about sincerity. When Sadiq Khan mentions his dad’s bus for the 257th time in a day, he does it with a wink to the audience, making a crack about the fact he won’t stop going on about it. That way, the message gets through to the punters at home who are only half listening, but the bored lobby hacks who’ve heard this routine two dozen times before feel they’re in the joke.

Burnham, it seems to me, lacks this lightness of touch: when he won’t stop banging on about the fact he grew up in the north, it feels uncomfortably like he means it. And to take yourself seriously in politics is sometimes to invite others to make jokes at your expense.

Then again, perhaps the problem is that Burnham isn’t quite sincere enough. Sadiq Khan genuinely is the son of a bus-driving immigrant: he may keep going on about it, but it is at least true. Burnham’s “just a northern lad” narrative is true, too, but excludes some crucial facts: that he went to Cambridge, and was working in Parliament aged 24. Perhaps that shouldn’t change how we interpret his story; but I fear, nonetheless, it does.

Maybe that’s not it, though: maybe I’m just another London media snob. Because Burnham did grow up at the disadvantaged end of the country, a region where, for too many people, chasing opportunities means leaving. The idea London is a city where the son of a bus driver can become mayor flatters our metropolitan self-image; the idea that a northerner who wants to build a career in politics has to head south at the earliest opportunity does the opposite. 

So if we roll our eyes when Burnham talks about the north, perhaps that reflects badly on us, not him: the opposite of northern chippiness is southern snobbery.

There’s one last possibility for why we may rate Sadiq Khan more highly than Andy Burnham: Sadiq Khan won. We can titter a little at the jokes and the fibs but he is, nonetheless, mayor of London. Andy Burnham is just the bloke who lost two Labour leadership campaigns.

At least – for now. In six weeks time, he’s highly likely to the first mayor of Greater Manchester. Slipperiness is not the worst quality in a mayor; and so much of the job will be about banging the drum for the city, and the region, that Burnham’s tendency to wear his northernness on his sleeve will be a positive boon.

Sadiq Khan’s stature has grown because the fact he became London’s mayor seems to say something, about the kind of city London is and the kind we want it to be. Perhaps, after May, Andy Burnham can do the same for the north – and the north can do the same for Andy Burnham.

Jonn Elledge edits the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric, and writes for the NS about subjects including politics, history and Daniel Hannan. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook.